Overview

Dayna Underhill is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Portland office, where she focuses her practice on complex commercial and employment litigation, as well as legal and government ethics and risk management for law firms, lawyers, corporate in-house counsel and political parties. She advises lawyers on all aspects of the law governing lawyers, including the defense of bar disciplinary complaints, obligations of lawyers as employers, lawyer mobility, lateral hiring, client engagement, conflicts of interest, attorney-client privilege, and law firm data privacy, breach and response.

Ms. Underhill has successfully represented companies and law firms in a broad range of disputes including breach of contract, unfair competition, trade secret violations, discrimination, leave laws, executive compensation and severance, and wage and hour. She acts as outside counsel to clients in a variety of industries providing ongoing business, risk management and employment advice and counsel. Ms. Underhill is a member of Holland & Knight’s COVID-19 Response Team advising businesses on the complex array of issues arising from COVID-19 including local, state and federal government orders regarding "shelter-in-place" guidance and regulations, and handling COVID-19 exposures and return to work policies in the workplace.

Before joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Underhill worked at a national law firm concentrating on legal ethics and risk management for lawyers, as well as employment and complex business disputes. In previous roles, she also focused on plaintiff litigation matters involving employment, securities and complex commercial issues. Ms. Underhill began her career nearly 30 years ago in the public defender's office. As a result of these multifaceted litigation experiences, she brings a well-rounded perspective to each client's matter.

Ms. Underhill is active in local and national legal associations. She is a frequent speaker on all aspects of the law governing lawyers. As an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, Ms. Underhill taught trial practice and coached the law school mock trial team at the American College of Trial Lawyers National Competition for two consecutive years.

Ms. Underhill has regularly been appointed by the Oregon Supreme Court to serve as a mentor to new lawyers under the Oregon State Bar New Lawyer Mentoring Program, which is designed to introduce new lawyers to high standards of integrity, professional conduct, professional competence and service to the public.

Experience

  • Served as lead counsel for an information technology corporation in a $1 billion state and federal court litigation case alleging statutory and common law claims for breach of contract, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and False Claims Act
  • Represented a solar energy provider in successfully obtaining a restraining order and dismissal of claims against key departing sales employees accused of theft of corporate trade secrets and unfair competition
  • Obtained a summary judgment dismissal of all claims on behalf of a national dental services provider in defense of discrimination and wrongful termination claims
  • Serves as retained outside general counsel for national and multi-national corporations providing employment risk management advice and counsel on issues including COVID-19 corporate response, federal and state leave laws, and internal corporate policies

  • Serves as outside general counsel to corporate entities, law firms and political parties providing advice and counsel on corporate and government compliance, intercompany agreements, conflicts of interest, attorney client privilege and employment practices
  • Represents lawyers in disciplinary matters
  • Represents elected officials in government ethics matters
  • Conducts internal audits for law firms to identify risk and ensure regulatory and insurance standard compliance
  • Serves as consulting and testifying expert witness for legal ethics matters

Credentials

Education
  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D.
  • Hartwick College, B.A., Political Science, cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Memberships
  • Oregon State Bar Association, Legal Ethics Committee, former Member
  • Oregon State Bar Association, House of Delegates, former Member
  • Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Oregon Law Institute, Board of Directors, former Member
  • Washington State Bar Association, Disciplinary Advisory Roundtable, former Member
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • American Bar Association, Center on Professional Responsibility
  • Multnomah Bar Association, Professionalism Committee, former Member
  • Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Board of Directors
  • Northwest Academy, Board of Trustees
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, 2016-2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Portland Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year, 2017

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News